Thunder from the Sea

Thunder from the Sea

For Ages: 8 - 12
  • 12
A boy builds a life-changing bond with his dog in this adventure story from the author of Star in the Storm.

It’s 1929, and thirteen-year-old Tom Campbell has always wanted a real family with a real house and a dog of his very own. Since he was three years old, the only home he has ever known has been the Mission orphanage.

When he is sent to live and work with fisherman Enoch and his wife, Tom finally sees his dream within reach. And when he rescues a Newfoundland dog in the middle of a terrifying squall, Tom feels as if both he and the dog, which he names Thunder, have found a place to call home at last.

But when Enoch’s wife becomes pregnant and it looks like Thunder’s owner might be found, Tom’s wonderful new world is turned upside down. Will the Murrays still want Tom? And will Tom be forced to give up his beloved Thunder?
  • Margaret K. McElderry Books | 
  • 240 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780689864049 | 
  • June 2005 | 
  • Grades 3 - 7 | 
  • Lexile ® 700L
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Reading Group Guide

Tom Campbell, a thirteen-year-old orphan, travels to Back o'the Moon Island to live with Enoch and Fiona Murray in 1929. After he rescues a young Newfoundland dog, Thunder, during a storm, his life seems nearly perfect until trouble with his neighbors and the impending birth of a new baby threaten to change everything.
Orphans; Dogs; Family life; Newfoundland and Labrador
• Why did Enoch and Fiona like living on this remote island? What did it offer that they couldn't find in town?
• Why would Enoch want to be in partnership with Amos? Why was it difficult? How would you deal with a partner like Amos?
• What is "jannie talk"? Why do Mummers use it? What is "cheek music"? What is it used for?
• Why did the earthquake cause a tidal wave? How might Thunder have sensed it before the people?
• This is a fictional story of a dog who is a hero. Find some examples of real animal heroes and report on the ways dogs can help people. How can a dog's senses make a difference in detecting an emergency or saving a person?
• Look at an atlas of Canada and look for small islands like Back o'the Moon. Where are some real islands? What can you discover about the people that live there?
• Research real earthquakes and tsunamis and the current attempts to create early warning systems.
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More Books from this Author

Breaker Boy
The Watcher
Secret of the Night Ponies

About the Author

Joan Hiatt Harlow
Photograph courtesy of the author

Joan Hiatt Harlow

Joan Hiatt Harlow is the author of several popular historical novels including Secret of the Night PoniesShadows on the SeaMidnight RiderStar in the StormJoshua’s Song, Thunder from the Sea, and Breaker Boy. Ms. Harlow lives in Venice, Florida. For more information, visit her at